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Automated Protein Crystallography Plate Setup with VERSA 110

Automated Protein Crystallography Plate Setup with VERSA 110

Protein crystallography is commonly used for structural biology applications such as preclinical chemistry and target validation. High throughput screening protein crystallography applications pose a critical bottleneck as conditions for protein crystallization must be refined very carefully.

Protein crystallography relies on the formation of crystals in the presence of precisely optimized sets of conditions. This requires multiple serial dilutions and multiple replicates in order to test different combinations and concentrations of salts, buffers and precipitants. Manually preparing these reaction test plates is time consuming and error prone, and these issues are further exacerbated in high throughput screening applications. Automation of such sample preparation processes improves throughput, reliability and efficiency while reducing waste.

Aurora’s VERSA 110 workstation provides an automated platform for carrying out applications for preparing protein crystallography plates, such as:

  • Plate reformatting
  • Filling plates with polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution
  • Serial dilutions
  • Quick dispensing of salt solutions

Automated, software controlled serial dilution options enable the user to configure a precise gradient of conditions by automatically calculating the required concentration of buffer, salts and precipitants to be dispensed into crystallization plates. High throughput screening protocols are supported by Aurora’s user friendly VERSAware interface, further reducing the potential for human error. Methods may be saved, and imported or exported as required. A library of built-in plate types in the software allows the user to select their desired plate format, providing flexibility for all laboratories.

The customizable and versatile nature of the VERSA 110 automated liquid handling workstation software make this instrument suitable for front-end protein crystallization protocols such as sitting drop vapour diffusion protocols, hanging drop vapour diffusion protocols and micro-batch protocols. Aurora’s VERSA 110 liquid handling workstation ensures that high throughput screening of test conditions is accomplished quickly and reliably. This results in the production of more diffractable crystals and improves laboratory productivity.

The VERSA 110 workstation supports many specifically defined test conditions and can aspirate and dispense a variety of liquids and viscous solutions.